3M ‘Hire Our Heroes’ to create automotive opportunities for veterans

Nov 19, 2012

St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M will kick off its new Hire Our Heroes campaign in January to help support America’s returning veterans in rehabilitation and training, and to drive employment in the collision repair industry. The company and its Automotive Aftermarket Division will partner with the Collision Repair Education Foundation, the National Auto body Council and Operation Comfort to launch the campaign.

The goal of Hire Our Heroes is to donate up to $250,000 to returning veterans and their families, support the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in raising awareness for hiring veterans and drive employment in the collision repair industry for deserving veterans and their families, according to a 3M press release.

“Our industry needs qualified repair professionals with the necessary skills to keep pace with the evolving repair standards,” said Dale Ross, U.S. marketing operations manager for 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division. “We are committed to helping repair facility owners and managers around the country get the capable, qualified repair professionals they need to perform at the high standards expected in today’s collision industry while honoring the tremendous service of our military men and women.”

The program will provide education for returning veterans and their families through the Collision Repair Education Foundation; grants and scholarships will help cover tuition, books, classroom materials, tools and equipment.

The 3M Hire Our Heroes program will also help fund an automotive skilled-based rehabilitation program for wounded veterans through Operation Comfort and the National Auto Body Council. The program, called Automotivation, will allow wounded soldiers to channel their automotive skills or learn new ones to restore vehicles for other military veterans through NABC Recycled Rides, the release stated.

“These men and women will receive instruction in collision repair, estimating, vehicle refinishing and other related topics toward the goal of preparing them for re-entry into the civilian workforce, namely our industry,” said Chuck Sulkala, NABC executive director.

3M, recognized by the U.S. government as a “Freedom Award Recipient,” plans to build awareness for the 2013 campaign by engaging its industry alliances, channel partners and collision repair shops.